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Business News Summary Headlines

Company releases, economic news, and business coverage.

Markets Right Now: Stocks move lower in midday trading

NEW YORK - The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

11:45 a.m.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:57 AM

'The Founder' director on parallels between Trump and McDonald's kingpin Kroc

TORONTO - When director John Lee Hancock started shooting "The Founder," about how Ray Kroc built the McDonald's empire from a small burger chain launched by two brothers, Donald Trump had not yet announced his candidacy for U.S. president.

Parallels between the two real-estate moguls did not come to mind during production, he says. But that's changed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:55 AM

Starwood to buy Milestone Apartments assets in US$2.85-billion friendly deal

TORONTO - Milestone Apartments Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:MST.UN) has signed a deal to be acquired by an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group in a transaction valued at US$2.85 billion.

The Toronto-based trust's portfolio includes 78 multi-family residential properties in the U.S. Southeast and Southwest regions, with a total of 24,061 apartment units.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:36 AM

US stock indexes tread water; bond yields climb

NEW YORK - Railroad stocks chugged higher Thursday, but drops for utilities and other companies that pay big dividends meant U.S. stock indexes dipped modestly. Treasury yields continued their upward march.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 5 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,267 as of 11:15 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 50 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 19,755. The Nasdaq composite index fell 10 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,546. Indexes have been trading in a tight range: The S&P 500 bounced around the flat line Thursday and has yet to close up or down by more than 0.4 per cent for over two weeks.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:33 AM

Galen G. Weston named CEO of George Weston, company his father led for decades

TORONTO - Galen G. Weston has been appointed CEO of George Weston Ltd., a business his father led for decades before stepping aside last year as part of a staged succession plan at the company that controls the Loblaw grocery chain.

The younger Weston has been chairman of George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) since last September, when his father W. Galen stepped aside at age 75. His 76th birthday was on Oct. 29.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:23 AM

Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.09 per cent

WASHINGTON - Long-term US mortgage rates marked their third week of declines this week, after snapping a nine-week run of increases.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to an average 4.09 per cent from 4.12 per cent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 per cent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.81 per cent.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:20 AM

Saudi Arabia says another OPEC cut possible in 2017

DAVOS, Switzerland - OPEC countries could cut oil production again this year, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said Thursday.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Khalid Al-Falih said he "would not exclude" another cut to follow last year's agreement if higher prices don't stick because of variables outside producers' control, such as a potential collapse in demand.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 11:12 AM

ECB keeps stimulus on high even as economy picks up

FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank has warned there is still little sign of an enduring pick-up in shop prices and workers' wages in the eurozone a symptom of economic weakness that means the bank will leave its stimulus programs running nearly full blast at least until year-end.

The bank's 25-member governing council, led by President Mario Draghi, made no changes in its interest rates or bond-buying stimulus program at a meeting Thursday.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 10:44 AM

Aimia CEO takes 4-month medical leave, chief operating officer steps in

MONTREAL - Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) says its chief executive is taking a four-month leave of absence for treatment of an unspecified medical condition.

During Rupert Duchesne's absence, Aimia's chief operating officer David Johnston will be interim CEO of the company.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 10:09 AM

Stockpiling just cash in a TFSA may hurt investors over the long term: experts

TORONTO - Financial planner Jason Heath's mind boggles when he thinks about the high percentage of Canadians stockpiling what he calls "dead money" into tax-free savings accounts.

"There's a lot of average Canadians out there that have been led to believe that parking a few thousand dollars in a TFSA in cash, or a near-cash equivalent investment paying one per cent, is somehow a good idea," says Heath, managing director of Objective Financial Partners in Toronto.

Thursday, January 19, 2017 | 10:00 AM